Marietta Routs Penn State Behrend In Opening Round

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In round one of the 2013 NCAA Mideast Regional, the No. 2 Marietta College Pioneers (30-12) defeated the No. 7 Penn State Behrend Lions (30-11) in decisive fashion, 11-1.

A full team effort got it done for the Pioneers. The offense brought in 11 runs, which were more than enough for Marietta’s starter, Jason Byers. He pitched eight scoreless innings, allowed five hits and struck out 10 batters.

Though everyone in the lineup contributed, senior catcher Alex Toth led the way offensively. He had three hits in five at-bats and drove in three runs.

The Pioneers’ offense was busy from the beginning, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. After getting the first two runners aboard and in scoring position, Toth hit a single down the right field line to give Marietta an early 2-0 lead.

Marietta tacked on two more runs in the third with an RBI double from Mitch Geers and a sacrifice fly by Aaron Hopper. Another run was added in the seventh inning, and Penn State Behrend starter Ryan Jacobs left the game with his team down 5-0. He went seven innings, and took the loss after allowing three earned runs to score on 10 hits.

Jacobs left the game and the Pioneers’ offense exploded in the eighth for six runs. They scored all six runs without two of the opposing pitchers even recording an out.

Bryan Gregorich got the scoring started with an RBI single. Then, with the bases load, two walks and a hit batter brought in three more runs for Marietta. Another RBI single for Toth and another sacrifice fly from Geers tacked on the final two runs of the inning, and improved the Pioneers’ lead to 11.

Penn State Behrend was able to avoid the shutout in the top of the ninth. With Mike Fulton on the mound, Matt Bittner drove in Ryan Kragnes with a single up the middle to score his team’s lone run.

Marietta’s next opponent will be the sixth-seeded Thomas More College Saints. The Saints routed the third seed Wooster, 20-4 Wednesday. First pitch is set for Thursday at 7:45 p.m.